UK: Has the 'Take Back Parliament' movement sold out?

The following is a statement by the TBP leaders. Ed's comment, placed on the linked site, follows.

“How should we approach the AV referendum?

Andy May: Before we met with Nick Clegg this week we wanted to hear what the purple people had to say on the government plans for a referendum. We set up a poll on a PR-supporting Facebook group to find out what people think.

The long term aim of this campaign is a fair proportional voting system for the House of Commons.

However there are also steps on the road, one of which might involve campaigning for less radical voting reform.

We feel the decision on what the campaign’s response is to the referendum on the Alternative Vote (not a proportional system) is not ours to take alone but must be driven by the volunteers and supporters within Take Back Parliament.

So far we've had over 200 comments on the AV referendum here.

If you haven't already replied, please state your views on the AV referendum here in this the poll or in the comments on this blog. Or if you want to comment in more detail you may want to blog yourself and send us the link below for us to tweet to supporters.” source

ed says:

I joined the TBP movement for 'PR NOW!', not 'AV now as a stepping stone to PR sometime in the future when we have to campaign again for PR'.

What this is amounting to is a campaign bolstering Clegg's position on electoral reform. Since when did we become a lobby group for the Godd Dems. Personally, i knew this was going to happen as activists are historically more inclined to accepting concessionary BS than sticking to real change as it promises immediate gratification, albeit of a severely compromised nature. That is not a 'gain', it is a 'loss', as people tend to get accustomed to much more than they otherwise would in the interim between the changes-come-lately and that which is yet to come. The former taints the perspectives underlying the latter and the BS of the past is refined for mass imbibing in the future.

I don't need 'baby steps to democracy', especially not when we are talking about the 'mother of all parliaments'.

Why is 'PR' now even being termed as 'radical' by the TBP? - as in 'However there are also steps on the road, one of which might involve campaigning for less radical voting reform.'

Is 'radical' determined by how far our approach diverges from the concessionary bits the PTBs are willing to toss our way. Isn't that how the supporters of the labour movement lost out? - amongst a myriad and multitude of other instances throughout human history. It seems that the 'left' of any movement gradually becomes the final refuge of the original aims of an organisation, and the 'centre', that which emerges after compromises have been made between the problem and the solution.

I think we should simply toss the AV/Lib Dem infiltrators - albeit unwitting - out of the TBP movement. Democracy must not be allowed to undo itself, or opt for 'baby steps' when we are already past the adolescent mark.



  1. So you'd be tossing out the 85% of people who want to campaign for AV as a stepping stone to PR.

    That wouldn't leave you with much of a movement would it...?

    No-one is saying the long term fight for PR should be abandoned, but you've got to be realistic in shorter term objectives - otherwise we will get nowhere!

  2. .
    The question is, to what degree is this '85%' you claim a reflection of what the movement wants, as opposed to what it has decided to put up with given the inclinations of the movement's leaders.

    What is this polarisation due to? How many of the movement's members had 'AV as a stepping stone' in mind at the outset? I heard, 'FAIR VOTES NOW!' and people demanding 'PR', not 'fairER VOTES NOW!' or 'AV NOW!.

    We should not be content with thinking that democracy is being realised by a possible referendum if said referendum does not include what many seemed to want at the outset. What's going on here, Clegg puts on a 'fetching' purple tie and we're ready to do the 'give and take' and give up PR now for AV. If we kick up a fuss over BS concessions, we might just end up accepting BS for making too much of said concessions. It's an old strategy frequently used by the elite - and which significantly explains the state of the world today.

    I'm not insulting the movement's intelligence, just wondering if the victories that we congratulate ourselves on does not simultaneously enable the PTBs to win the war whilst we content ourselves with winning a battle here and there.

    Why are we not ready for PR now? There is a difference between fighting for change as opposed to true progress. AV vs. PR, is thus distinguished.

    If we go for AV now, how many years is it going to take before we move toward PR? Close to a decade at least. What is it we need a decade to learn before we are ready for PR? Can we not spend that time refining PR upon its immediate implementation instead of breaking out the purple banners and headbands for another bout of 'FAIR VOTES NOW' in a decade's time? Come on.


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